Breathing, blinking, sneezing– the more commonplace a matter, the more we tend to ignore the science and details behind it. So it is with prayer. Every Christian believer has some notion of what is prayer and how to pray. However, few may realize the real significance of prayer, and fewer may have applied ample time and thoughtful practice to enter into genuine prayer.
In the book How to Enjoy God and Practice the Enjoyment of God, Brother Witness Lee enumerates the varied facets of enjoying the Lord. It’s surprisingly life-giving and enlightening to scan the subtitles from Chapter Five on How to Enjoy God in Prayer:
- Prayer Being to Breathe in God
- Appearing Before God
- Being Silent
- Beholding His Beauty
- Allowing God to Finish His Speaking
In the coming weeks, we hope to consider each of these rich aspects of prayer, and fellowship in detail about how they apply in practice. Interspersed throughout this line of fellowship may be posts on other aspects of prayer.
This chapter begins with the primary significance of prayer being to breathe in God and absorb Him. What a joy! And what a release! To realize that prayer is not to grovel and beg God for different things. Rather, prayer is chiefly a matter of spiritual breathing.
Breathe in…. breathe out.
Physically, we breathe in the positive element of oxygen to live, and we breathe out the negative element of carbon dioxide. This matches the inward experience of spiritual breathing. Spiritually, we breathe in the positive element that is God Himself, and we breathe out the negative content of our natural being.
Inhaling and exhaling more deeply only amplifies the benefits. Brother Witness Lee describes it in this way, “Our experience shows that when we sigh a little, the weight on our shoulder disappears. We are fully released and rested, and we overflow with a sense of sweetness…while we wait on the Lord, we utter a sigh from deep in our being. It is interesting that after sighing for a while, the darkness and confusion vanish, and we become clear and uncluttered, knowing the way to proceed. This wonderful experience is the meaning of prayer.”
In practice, we find it helpful to synchronize our physical breathing with the in-and-out rhythm of our breathing-prayer.